Thursday, August 30, 2012

Labor Day Sale at Tory Burch

Tory Burch  has a  percent off Labor Day sale going on right now.
 If you spend $300.00 you will receive 20% off of your purchase, $500.00-25%, and $750.00-30%.  Large numbers for me right now, but definitely worthwhile if you have your eye on a handbag or boots.
These are my wish- picks.
Shelby Ballet Flat

I love the subtle flower.  Pretty, but not over the top, with the small logo. I can vouch for the comfort of her flats.  The leather lining makes such a difference, especially if you are on your feet all day.
Jenna High Heel Boot
They are lovely, and not too high. I could see wearing these often.
Patent Eddie Bow Ballet Flats
I don't wear red well, but these ruby slippers might be just enough to brighten up my fall outfits.
Cecily Dress
 Dark green is my very favorite color, and this dress has it all.  A barely detectable print, silk fabric and a rich dark green.  Yummy.
Walden Cashmere Sweater
I like the cut and button detail.  I wonder how Tory's cashmere wears?
Suede and Leather Large 797

Green again.  Impeccable details and a timeless shape.  Love.
Pearl Embellished Collar
This has shown up on many blogs, and with good reason.  It is gorgeous.
Printed Robinson Smartphone Wallet
I am not certain if the print "reads" summer, but I love a sophisticated floral.  And it is so practical.

I have to stop now or else I would fantasy shop all day.  What do you have your eye on at Tory Burch? I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Surprise Sale at Kate Spade

I received an e- mail this morning about a surprise sale at Kate Spade.  I loved Kate Spade for years, then was not impressed for the longest time.  Lately, I am pleased with how many interesting  and well made pieces they seem to have.  These are my wish list picks from the awesome sale-final sale, but only $5.00 shipping. This is the link to the sale . Have fun looking!
 I have carried Kate Spade handbags for years, and the quality was good overall for the leather bags, but not as good IMO for the fabric bags.  I did notice that some of the bags were made expressly for the outlets.  I did have one bag that was made for the outlet years ago, and it seemed to be well made with as much detail as my regular shop bags. Most of the sale styles are totes, but I love a nice tote- pretty and practical!

  The dresses are silk.  The Japanese print is much prettier in the "zoom" view, and the dresses don't appear to be scandalously short.  I can't vouch the quality of the jewelry, but these pieces caught my eye!
Did you look at the surprise sale? Did anything catch your eye? I enjoy your answers!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lovely New Pieces

 Save your money for the next roll out!  I just popped in to my local J Crew this morning, and the merchandising team was busy at work.  As this is the concept store, many items are on display that have not made their way to other shops yet. I don't have pictures- sorry no smartphone!, but I made note of some items that caught my eye. ( May be AJC can help with this- she is awesome with reviews and pictures.)
Colors.  Deep rich burgundy with black.  Navy with heather caramel, and accents and jewelry in fuchsia, navy and soft light green. 
The first thing that caught my eye was a sequin tank that was burgundy on top, and black on the bottom.  The sequins were oblong- very striking.
Majesty Peacoat

I looked at the Majesty peacoat in fuchsia.  It was a beautiful fuchsia, not too harsh.  It is $278, and currently online.  The color is scrumptious! There was a beautiful silk( I believe)dress that had a silhouette like the Jules dress with pockets and it was in a gorgeous muted paisley in shades of caramel and soft green.  It was $228.
Next was a  fitted cashmere blend pullover in 2 colors- black or light green, with the cheekiest , most adorable bird on the front.  The sweater is a cashmere blend, and retails for $95.00. I wish I had a picture.  Saucy.
Collection Cashmere in Colorblock

I also tried on the cashmere striped green and grey pullover.  Slouchy and marvelous.  The colors are unique, but wearable.
There was a collarless long sleeve silk blouse in shades of burgundy on a cream background in a simple  print, with a paisley type border.  Pretty, but not earthshaking and the price tag was $250.00?!?
As far as the jewelry went, I have already written about the lovely cobalt glass bead bracelet.  Now there is a jeweled elephant pendant with cobalt and "diamond" detail.  Stunning. ($79.00- I think). Cate of A Package a Day just pointed out that Rynetta posted  a picture on her blogJ Crew is my Favorite Store  I liked the timeless beaded acorn type pendant on a long chain in green. There were masses of enamel and jewelled bangles in pink, navy and green.  Many had crystal accents and were some of the nicest pieces I have seen for a while.  The only thing that concerned me was that many of the bracelets were the stretch kind.  I ruined 2 cashmere sweaters last year, and won't risk that again! (Yes, 2- clearly I am not a quick study.)There was a long goldtone necklace studded with enameled bows in black, a light pink, gold, and maybe green.  They were $39.50.  Very sweet.
I also noticed a rectangular, honey comb print  on navy,  chiffon scarf (see this post for tying tips) for $70.00.  Silk but very fragile, so proceed with caution, or buy online.
I  glimpsed a bright fold over clutch in the window, but they were changing the mannequins, so I could not get a closer look.
All in all it was a classic and well thought out roll out.  No new catalog yet, but I will check back soon. The staff is so wonderful at that store.  It must not be easy to work amidst all of the constant change and swarms of merchandising staff. But, they are always impeccably dressed, charming and helpful.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bling- Crystal Comparison

I got an e-mail from C Wonder advertising their “Bling Collection” and I was intrigued.  I have only recently and tentatively started to wear costume jewelry. Other than my pearls, I rarely wear necklaces, but I do enjoy the lift a statement bracelet can give an outfit.  
J Crew Crystal Marquis Bracelet

A couple of years ago I purchased a deep rose crystal bracelet from J Crew and it was the start of my new interest in fun accent pieces.  The crystal  pieces and their successor in the crystal jewel range, the pricier Martha necklace were solid, weighty, sparkly cut glass pieces.  They were unique at the time and well crafted.  I then purchased, again on clearance, the geometric piece- I don’t know its name.  I have truly worn this bracelet with absolutely everything, from dressy dresses to bathing suits.  I don’t know if it is the soft antique gold setting, or the smoky crystal, but there is nothing that it doesn’t match.  
Vintage J Crew "Jewels"

Finally I added the stretch bracelet to my collection, because by this time, J Crew had stopped offering the crystal bracelets I was looking for.  Well, I loved the soft black, and I didn’t even mind the stretchiness, because this bracelet, too,  was on a wonderful clearance.  However, I soon learned the hard way that I could only wear this bracelet with cotton shirts and twill or denim. Unfortunately, stretch bracelets are snaggerific( thank you gigiofca for that apropos word!) and destroy any fabric that is loosely knit or woven.

  I saw some faceted deep cobalt faceted glass bracelets, and a very dressy large stone faux diamond looking geometric bracelet today at the J Crew concept store, but they were undoubtedly expensive, and not as casual and versatile. as the pieces I already have. ( Sorry I don't have pictures, but they were in the display case.)

So when I saw that C Wonder was offering similar looking pieces, I thought I would see how they compared.  As I  noted in my previous post, C Wonder is a fabulously fun shop, but the quality of materials is not always up to the caliber of design. Some of their jewelry is awesome, some of it rather cheap looking.
Triple Stone Drop Earrings
In store, I looked at the Bling Stud earrings and  lovely drop earrings that  may have been the Triple Drop Stone Linear earrings, and the Glam  Bling  Ring.
Glam Bling Ring

They passed the J Crew of yore (thank you, Alexis of JCA for this phrase) test for me.  The stones were pretty faceted glass, and the metal settings seemed solid and the gold plating was attractive.  They did not have the full range of colors that is on-line in store, but what they had was so pretty. I think that $28.00 and $38.00 seems reasonable.
 However, the necklaces from the same collection were not as well made, and had epoxy stones rather than faceted glass.  They felt lighter, and IMO looked cheaper and were pricier . 
Banana Republic

 I saw similar pieces at Banana Republic, but my initial impression was that they all seemed cheaper and flimsy, although some of the pieces online seem to be made of nicer materials.  I rarely wear costume earrings, and I suppose that the lighter stone is easier to wear, but they just seemed plastic-y to me.

 I then looked in Talbots- OMG why do I even waste my time?  I have such fond memories of the Talbots of old- a venerable store with enviably crisp, classic, quality clothing.  I keep hoping, but suffice it to say that the crystal jewelry pieces I saw there were not inspiring, nor were they well made.
Madewell and Anthropologie were on my way , but they really didn't have any crystal style jewelry to speak of.
Do you wear costume jewelry? What is your favorite kind?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Wonder- ful

Strappy Sundress

beehive charm

I peeked back into C Wonder again yesterday.  C Wonder is the new enterprise opened by Chris Burch- ex husband of retail giant Tory. I went when they first opened, and although I found some likeable enough objects, nothing was compelling me to return. My first impression was that the store suffered from a split personality.
On one hand, the store is gorgeous and vibrant, almost something you would find on vacation in Nantucket, Ma., St. Michaels, Md., La Jolla, Ca.  However, so much of what makes resort shops appealing is the promise of endless summer and festivity which doesn't necessarily translate well into most real lives. The store is chockful of well styled, exuberantly preppy and classic, clothes and household wares.
Horse plate

But on the other hand, the quality and fabrication  does not always live up to the eye- catching design.  Clearly the intention was to price the wares at an affordable- buy now -point, which is attractive, to say the least.  But, some of the designs are so good that if they were rendered in better fabric, I think they could give Brooks Brothers , and Ralph Lauren and Tory herself a little healthy competition.
Contrast trim Perfect Polo

I was shocked when I read that the target audience was not a younger crowd, because the upbeat styles and mid to lower prices and lesser fabrications scream younger(west elm vs. William- Sonoma) to me.  Back to the split personality.  The store has a modern techno vibe. There are tables full of awesome and stylish electronics- clocks, speakers, keyboards, etc.
Heart Waffles!
You can use your smartphone to pay, there are no registers, just the handheld devices the adorably clad sales people carry.  The fitting rooms have  touch screen panels so that you can adjust the lighting, music, etc.  On the opposite end of the tech scale, EVERYTHING can be monogrammed, or engraved.
The opulent fitting rooms are curtained with luxe navy velvet drapes.
The store facade is a true "Preppy Handbook " green, embellished with the ubiquitous shiny gold CW's and a vintage bicycle.The home goods have a Kelly Wearstler or Kate Spade feel, and many items seem that like they would be at home in a Palm Beach mansion.  But, I have to think that many of those items which hark back to the aspirational '80's would seem dated to a younger crowd. And again, the quality is hit or miss, although the in store prices were certainly reasonable, and there was a nice sized sale section.

The jewelry design could compete with Jenna's and Marissa's vision. Again,the quality ranged from" Collection" to "Factory." The individual charms are saucy and amusing.
Frog Critter Bangle
I gave in to impulse and purchased these cute lobster pants.  They were a good deal, marked down to $49.00 from $98.00 and then 50% off sale. They are 98% cotton and 2% spandex.  They were a nice fit, too. However, in the same sale room I found many darling blouses that were polyester :( and the tank tops were a cotton modal blend.
Pink Lobster Critter pants

I love the colors and have always eyed "critter" pants, but never succumbed.  I think it is the tapered fit that sold me.   I think they would look great with a white shirt and  patent black shoes for a less traditional look,  and brown shoes( those are beloved  vintage J Crew Phoebe peep toes)  with navy or pink  for a more preppy feel.
 I will absolutely keep the store on my radar, as they had some striking clothes that are not on line. But, for you online shoppers out there, I would shop carefully. One more positive note- even with a percent off, nothing was marked "final sale". The sizing seemed very similar to J Crew's sizing.
Have you ever been to C Wonder? I'd love to hear your impressions!